As we enter the holiday season there are a lot of ways to make your home more festive and get yourself in a mood to celebrate. Hanging outdoor lights is a favorite for many people, but you want to make sure you do so safely without injuring yourself or damaging your roof. Here are three tips to help you get those twinkling white or cheerful multicolored strands of lights up with as little hassle as possible.
Check Light Before Hanging
Before you begin the process of hanging your Christmas lights, make sure they are untangled and working properly. This preparation will save you some time and the headache of having to detangle them while balancing on a ladder or your rooftop or of getting them up only to find out some bulbs are out. Be sure to check the bulbs as well as the wires for any frayed spots which could cause a fire if not repaired. Next, plug them in to make sure everything is in working order and that you won’t be overloading the breaker. Unplug them again and you are ready for the next step.
Up On the Roof
- The first important safety tip to note is to never put holiday lights up by yourself. Make sure there is someone else around to hold the ladder and help in case of an emergency. Check your ladder to make sure it is sturdy and placed on a stable part of your yard or driveway and never lean out on your ladder, but instead get off and move it to the next section.
- It is not recommended to secure your lights to your actual shingles or gutters using nails or staples as this will leave holes which can cause leaks down the road and can also damage the wiring in the lights. It is okay to put nails or staples in the wooden eaves around your roof, but never the shingles or gutters.
- Invest in some plastic clips you can purchase at any hardware store for the purpose of hanging lights. There are many different types of clips including all-in-one clips, eave clips and even clips for hanging lights to the peak of your roof. If you have no eaves or a tile roof you can even get a type called parrot clips that will go over your flat roof and allow you to secure the lights safely.
Taking Them Down
After the celebrating and fun is over, it’s time to take the lights back down. While it may seem like the quickest way is to just pull them down, this can actually damage both the Christmas lights and your roof. Instead get the ladder back out again and remove the lights and clips. This may take more time initially but will save you time later when you don’t need to get your gutters or shingles repaired or replaced. Make sure the lights are untangled once again and carefully wrap them up to be stored in an out of the way location where they won’t be damaged before next year’s festivities begin.